Believing the Lie
“They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. -2 Thessalonians 2:10-11
The besetting sin of mankind? The sin producing the fall into misery? The sin as a pied piper luring people to certain destruction? It is believing the lie!
From Eve’s trusting that the Satan-using, speaking snake spoke fact, to the willingness of man through the ages to fall for a blatant lie over the truth, the world has been mesmerized by a charade which cannot hold water; not the water of logic, not the water of absolute truths standing the test of time and reason, not the water of incontrovertible evidence producing a correct verdict, not the water of simple, eternal truth! Men and women simply have a massive prevalence to believe the lie!
Just returning from a trip to Vietnam and Cambodia, we witnessed the overwhelming saturation in these two societies of the populace believing the lie of Buddhism; 97% in Cambodia, 85% in Vietnam. Temples dot the landscape like red ant hills in Georgia; new and gaudy temples, ancient temples, huge temples, small temples, temples in rice paddies, temples in jungle, temples in cities, temples on islands, temples, temples, temples.
The worshippers bring their money, their produce, their possessions. Oddly, they also burn their money, believing by doing this their dead ancestors will have that money to spend in the after-life. They worship fat Buddhas who they believe to be “happy Buddhas. They have hundreds of millions of Buddhas of stone, quartz, wood, and metals of all sizes; Buddhas to bow down to in their homes, in their temples, on the streets, in the country; Buddhas who allegedly can make their lives easier and more prosperous in this life and the next, who can insure they are reincarnated as a wealthy person and not an insect, as long as they live “good lives here. But they are Buddhas – idols – made by their own hands. How can what is made with man’s own hands do all that for those who had to make them for these idols to even exist?
For Buddhism does not have a Savior, someone without sin who died to atone for their sin and guilt, someone who was raised to life after dying for their pardon and forgiveness, someone who left an empty tomb behind and ascended to heaven as an eternal mediator between them and the one true living, eternal and almighty God, this same God who made all things and sustains the entire universe which He Himself created. They do not have this Savior, and, consequently, they remain in their guilt and sin and continue to believe the lie which keeps them separated from the one true God by a chasm of great proportion, bridged only by this Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Idols are powerless to save anyone.
How can this lie be so pervasive, so mesmerizing, so apparently impenetrable? How can it so thoroughly fool masses of people created in God’s own image and not in the image of Buddha, or Muhammad, or Confucius, or the chief fallen angel, Satan? God presents the clear answer to the lie in His Word, the Bible; a revelation delivered to mankind, protected down through the ages despite numerous attempts to destroy its existence, kept from error by the Spirit of God. It is a living Word which is empowered by the incarnate Word made flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. The Bible is simply believable, which billions attest to by their personal faith and the evidence of their transformed lives.
It is simple foolishness to ignore the Bible because it is the testimony of the only antidote for the Great Lie which blinds the masses from the truth of their potential salvation. It is the answer to assuaging Jesus’ great grief as He approached Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday, turned a curve in the mountain road, saw the city laid out before Him, and broke down and wept. He cried out, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes…because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you. (Luke 19:41-44)
The Great Lie is only penetrated and laid waste by the Good News of Jesus coming to save that which was lost. He came to destroy the power of the lie and set you free to find and rest in the truth.
“Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing; were not the right man on our side, the man of God’s own choosing. Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He. Lord Sabaoth His name, from age to age the same, and He must win the battle.
(2nd verse of Martin Luther’s hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, 1529)
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